Colorectal cancer is a term used by medical professionals to refer to colon cancer that affects the large intestine and rectal cancer that affects the lowermost part of the large intestine. Though the exact cause of this cancer is not known, it is believed that untreated polyps that are formed due to abnormal growth and accumulation of healthy cells in the lining of the colon could lead to the development of cancer. Here are 10 signs of colon cancer that you should not ignore and immediately bring to the notice of your doctor.
1. Constipation – This health condition is a crucial indication of cancer development in the colon. Many studies have shown the link between constipation and colorectal cancer. It has been found that presence of a tumour at the furthest end of the colon makes it difficult to eliminate waste from the body, thereby initiating the condition of constipation. So, if this condition persists for some time, you notice less bowel movement for many weeks without any history of constipation, you must consult your doctor to find the exact cause.
2. Diarrhoea – While a tumour may obstruct the bowel, it can also bring about exchanging blockage leading to change in the bowel habits with alternating constipation and diarrhoea. One can also experience stomach pain, nausea, gas, and vomiting. Thus, if you experience diarrhoea persistently for weeks, you must definitely bring it to your doctor’s notice.
3. Blood In Stools – Blood in stool is an occurrence if a person has piles but the bleeding is mostly red. In case you see dark red blood in the stool, it could be an indication of colon cancer or stomach ulcer. Hence it becomes crucial to get it checked immediately to find the exact cause which could be related to cancer, ulcer, or piles.
4. Narrow Stools – Presence of a tumour in the left half of the colon obstructs the way thereby leading to release of narrow stools. This condition should not be ignored as it could be caused due to colon cancer, diverticulitis or anal malignancy.
5. Constant Feeling Of Bowel Movement – If you constantly experience an incomplete sensation of clearing even after a bowel movement, you must put it across to your doctor. This is so because it can be caused due to the presence of a tumour that obstructs the inside and restrains you from completely discharging your bowels – indicative of colon cancer.
6. Abdominal Pain Or Tenderness – If the lower part of the stomach feels tender when touched, it could be a sign indicating the development of a tumour in the digestive tract, colon or rectum. People diagnosed with colon cancer may suffer from stomach pains. If you experience severe stomach continuously for two to three days, then you must not delay a visit to the doctor.
7. Gas And Bloating – Gas and bloating can be a common health issue among the majority of people but in presence of a tumour in the colon, it causes a serious blockage for the elimination of gas from the body causing dynamic bloating and gas. In the instance of experiencing severe distress due to gas and bloating, one must see a doctor immediately.
8. Unexplained Weight Loss – If your age is 50 years or more and you experience drastic weight loss without any known reason then it could be a cause for concern. The development of a tumour in the digestive tract could lead to loss of appetite resulting in weight loss. Hence, a visit to a doctor is advisable.
9. Unexplained Anaemia – It is observed that if cancer develops in the right half of the colon it can lead to low haemoglobin. When tumours begin bleeding into the digestive tract it gradually leads to anaemia due to blood loss. If you experience pale skin, shortness of breath, cold feet and hands, dizziness – signs of anaemia, you must consult your doctor.
10. Weakness And Fatigue – Unexplained events of weakness and fatigue despite proper rest shouldn’t be ignored. Extensive polyps or tumours in the colon lead to anaemia causing lower oxygen levels in the blood giving rise to weakness. So it is important to report to your doctor.
The sooner colon cancer is detected, the better it is. So, do not ignore the above-mentioned signs and be prompt in consulting your doctor.